Richardson willing to do anything to help Lady Mavs succeed
Erin Richardson is living a childhood dream.
The Mesa State College junior is playing basketball for the program she grew up watching.
“To come here and play again is awesome,” Richardson said. “My (junior college) coach called Coach (Timi) Brown. She was really good. I came and talked to her. She was really positive even though I had a knee injury.”
The Fruita Monument High School graduate is one of eight new faces on the Mavericks’ roster this season trying to define her role.
Sunday, Richardson showed what she can do, scoring a career-high 23 points in a loss to Colorado Christian. The 5-foot-5 guard hit five 3-pointers and leads the team with 11 in eight games. She is averaging 8.5 points per game.
“I knew she could shoot it, but she is deceiving in a way,” Brown said. “Her foot speed is not where she wants it to be. To her credit, she works hard. She tries to make plays. (Monday) she put in extra time. She’d play (center) if I asked her to play (center). Those (are the) type of players you want to have on the team.”
Richardson is focused on doing whatever Brown needs instead of her personal accomplishments.
“I want us to come together as a team and win as long as I can contribute somehow,” Richardson said. “Wherever I can contribute, even if it means not playing and cheering, I’d do it for the success of the team.”
In high school, she had the freedom to shoot and she didn’t hesitate, launching 3-pointer after 3-pointer.
“I shot a lot back then,” she laughed.
That wasn’t enough to get her recruited by a four-year college program, so she went to the College of Eastern Utah in Price.
“It was a good opportunity,” Richardson said. “I learned a lot. I got a lot of playing time and got a lot of experience.
“There were some good post players, so I had to learn to feed the ball into them. At that level, all 10 people on the team can play.”
She earned team MVP and all-region second team honors her sophomore year. Richardson averaged 9.8 points and 2.5 assists per game.
However, her season ended when she tore a ligament in her right knee in the Scenic West Conference tournament semifinals. Richardson had surgery two weeks later. She rehabilitated the knee over the course of six months, but the rehab didn’t dampen her spirit.
“It was a long road,” Richardson said. “My therapist was great. I worked out every day.
“It’s not the same with my speed and defense. I’m not there yet. It’s frustrating at times, but from two months ago to today I feel 100 times better.”
Brown didn’t lose interest in Richardson, even with the injury.
“You can’t go wrong with her on the team,” Brown said. “She is very coachable. She wants to get better.”
Her hard work earned her a starting spot Sunday and she could be there again this weekend.
“If I had 15 Erins on the team it would be nice,” Brown said. “She is a great kid.”